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The Daily Mail is disreputable, twisted, tendentious and malignant. Thank heavens for that

4 October 2013

10:18 AM

4 October 2013

10:18 AM

For the want of a question mark, the empire was defeated. Something like that anyway. Changing The Man Who Hated Britain to A Man Who Hated Britain? would have saved the Daily Mail an awful lot of bother. Too late for that now. And, of course, there are many people savouring the Mail’s distress. Many more, too, who appreciate the irony of the Mail being the object of this week’s Two Minute Hate. What goes around comes around. Sauce for geese and ganders and all that.

I thought the problem with the Mail’s hatchet job on Ralph Miliband was that it used a very small, rather blunt hatchet. A couple of diary entries, a few quotations from his books and, er, that was it. Surely there should have been more material than this? Disappointing.

Of course, it could also be that the Mail was mistaken. Perhaps Ralph Miliband did not really hate the country to which he’d fled from Nazi persecution. Then again if the Daily Mail cannot accuse Marxist professors from North London – even dead ones – of subversion and fellow-travelling then what on earth is the world coming to?

So there seem to be an awful lot of people surprised by the fact that the Daily Mail is the Daily Mail. Then again, folk on the right are always surprised – or at least pretend to be surprised – by the fact that the Guardian stubbornly insists on being the Guardian.

There is, of course, a lot of hate around and it is by no means confined to the right. As Stephen Moss described the scene at Tory conference:

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, dead, dead, dead,” scream the protesters as they file past the Midland hotel in Manchester. It is a cruel greeting for the Conservative party as it gathers in this most un-Tory city. “Filth, you’re a waste of space, a waste of oxygen,” they shout at the shiny young delegates as they pass. I suggest to a policeman that this constitutes intimidation, especially the bloke in the “Kill Tory scum” T-shirt who is filming people as they enter the secure zone.

Social media helps facilitate and exacerbate this kind of over-reaction just as it helps fuel the anti-Mail movement of recent days. In all cases there is a desperate lack of proportion. The Mail may have gone too far but let’s not pretend that its critics are unsullied or, as Isabel says, acting from the purest of motives. When Alastair Campbell is occupying the moral high ground it is easy to wonder if you smell a rat.


Then again, there will be no shortage of Conservatives quietly happy to see Paul Dacre (pictured above) put in a spot of some difficulty. The Tories have felt the back of his hand often enough. Dacre, in this view, is akin to some over-mighty medieval baron whose comeuppance and cutting-down-to-size had to happen eventually. And when it did there was much rejoicing and sighing with relief at court. 

So be it. It’s a tough game. But what began as a reasonable protest against the Mail’s alleged excesses has morphed into something rather different. Hacked Off campaigners, for instance, have pointed out that even after Leveson the Mail would still be allowed to print stuff like this. And, the implication is obvious, that’s just wrong. Other chumps have got in on the act, including some who should know better. Giles Coren, for instance, tweeted this morning that, “The deep antisemitism and wilful misgrasp of history on the Mail attacks on Ed Miliband has changed my feelings about press regulation.”

For the love of god, this is grim. Perhaps the Mail went too far (though I see nothing wrong with it despatching a reporter to a memorial service for one of Miliband’s uncles. Newspapers attend funerals and memorial services all the time. What’s different about this one?). But even if it did, so what? That’s one of the reasons for having a free press: so papers can go too far. Better that, certainly, than that they don’t go far enough.

In any case, Ralph Miliband’s beliefs are a perfectly respectable subject for newspapers to explore. Ed Miliband wishes to become Prime Minister of this country. It is normal, even proper, for newspapers to write about his background and consider how his parents might have influenced the development of his own character and political thought.

Now you may say that the Mail was being deliberately unfair but that’s a different matter and one, in the end, subject to interpretation. But consider this: it is considered axiomatic that David Cameron’s privileged upbringing informs his politics and worldview. Eton. Oxford. Bullingdon. A cabinet of toffs, millionaires and millionaire toffs. How, I mean really, are people like that qualified to lead this country in, you know, the twenty-first century?

True, no-one, I think, has suggested that David Cameron’s father hated Britain. That is an important difference. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Cameron’s background is an accepted – acceptable – part of Britain’s political geography. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Subjecting Miliband’s own upbringing to some comparable level of scrutiny is hardly a disreputable business, far less something beyond the pale of acceptable discourse. This is true even when the scrutiny is partial, twisted and over-the-top.

The Mail might not much care for Ed Miliband but, you know, it doesn’t much like David Cameron (and his “set”) either. Indeed the Prime Minister of recent times the Mail most admired was Gordon Brown. Not, admittedly, on a consistent basis but Dacre liked and appreciated what he saw as Brown’s old-fashioned presbyterian values. He may have been mistaken then too, of course.

I suppose I should note, for the record, that I’ve never written for the Mail or any other part of the Associated Newspapers empire but that my father has and that I have friends who either have worked or still do toil for the Mail. But my instinct, when newspapers are attacked by political interests, is to defend the newspapers even if that means defending actions which are less than wholly defensible.

The Mail’s politics are not my own but it is a mistake to assume that the Mail leads its readers. If the Mail is an opportunistic, hypocritical, hyper-censorious newspaper that may be because there are many opportunistic, hypocritical, hyper-censorious people in this country and I see no reason why they should not be permitted a newspaper that reflects their passions and prejudices. No-one else need read it. The Mail does not so much make the political weather as reflect it. It is powerful because it is read by millions not because it is a corrupting influence on millions of British people. Your beef is less with the Mail than with the Great British public. Many of them are sods, you see.

All newspapers – even the Spectator – print some pretty silly, shoddy, things from time to time. That seems an insufficient reason for boycotts and pressurising advertisers to withdraw their support for those newspapers. I mean, only last year the Guardian published an article complaining that North Korea – of all damn places – receives a desperately unfair press. That was, I thought, more revolting and offensive than anything the Mail published this week. (Though, admittedly, that wretched piece should not be viewed as the Guardian’s own views whereas, thanks to its bilious editorials, the Mail’s anti-Miliband screeds obviously reflect the paper’s own views).

So enough of this pious, sanctimonious claptrap. The Mail went too far and you have every right to protest about that (though, hey, the paper did not need to give Ed Miliband a right-to-reply. I thought it rather good that it did). But it is also clear that there is a significant chunk of leftist opinion that would like to prevent this sort of thing ever happening again. That is, there are plenty of people who think the proper response to articles with which they disagree is to legislate or regulate them out of existence. That seems much more troubling than anything the Mail has done recently.

In a battle between these forces I’ll take the side of disreputable, twisted, tendentious, malignant journalism every time.

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Show comments
  • fitz fitzgerald

    Hobsbawm, Milliband, Marx — their ash mingles on the hillside and poisons the land …

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    It is very hard to believe that a man who can knife his brother in the back in the manner that Miliband Jr. did should be so upset by an article in the Daily Mail that was no worse than factual. Milibands false outrage is part of the assault on that section of the press that is not slavishly pro-Labour (remember how they loved The Sn until it stopped supporting them?) Now we learn that Burnham is trying to silence the Health Minister with legal threats. Make no mistake about this, the socialist party wants control of the press.

  • Toby Esterházy

    I can never understand the fascination for the printing presses of the Israel and Israelite cabal, with this one formerly fronted by one Melanie “Phillips” Philippsohn. Once an Israelite Marxist, always an Israelite Marxist like Bronstein-Trotsky, and she is never to be trusted. Only repressed Lefties who read the Daily Mail would buy her as the genuine thing.

  • JWil42

    Only Massie could write an article like that above. He is the epitome of reasonableness. Or so he would like us to think.
    The vultures are circling Mr Massie. The Mail is not going to get away Scot free on this one, however much you want it.

  • Algernon the Sceptic

    If there different groups involved, a whole heap of protestors would have been arrested on Hate Crime charges.

  • Daniel Maris

    Who wrote to Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail:

    “I believe the Mail has a vitally important role to play in the national
    debate, and I admire your relentless focus on the need for integrity and
    morality in public life, and your outspoken defence of faith, and
    Christian culture, in the face of attacks from militant atheists and

    Yep – MEHDI HASSAN!!!

  • Daniel Maris

    Ralph described himself as a “revolutionary communist” when young and, importantly, never disowned the label when older. So he has some explaining to do at the very least, given the death toll of others who described themselves as revolutionary communists.

  • Two Bob

    they want to provoke Labour into pledging press control – making sure the entire press turn against Labour ready for the 2015 election.

    It is not rocket science.

  • rigaud

    “In a battle between these forces I’ll take the side of disreputable, twisted, tendentious, malignant journalism every time.”
    Leads one to reflect how much Massie would have enjoyed Der Stürmer.

  • Dogsnob

    Ralph Milliband, like others of his misguided and poisoned coterie, was a hater of the Britain I had and want back.
    His sons are of the same persuasion which is why they were party to the move by the Blair and Brown administrations, to flood the nation with foreigners and change it forever into something I don’t want.
    The left hate anything or anyone who has their eye on what they do and who are prepared to say it.

  • richjohnston

    There was nothing wrong with the original article. It was good and fair to allow a right to reply. What was wrong was running that right to reply with two articles surrounding it a pincer movement almost forcing it off the page. If you’re going to run a right to reply then do just that, don’t try and dismiss that reply on the very page it runs.

    • Daniel Maris

      The voice of reason…in the middle of a rugby scrum.

  • Thats_news

    If Ralph Miliband really liked Britain, it was probably the kind of liking we could do without. A sort of “other shoe” kind of liking, waiting for the other shoe to fall.

    “I like Britain, but…”

  • bengeo


    Damage limitation.

  • Patricia

    ” …“Kill Tory scum” T-shirt who is filming people as they enter the secure zone.”

    The leftie was arrested for a potential hate crime? No, of course not..

  • Rockin Ron

    By far the most balanced and insightful assessment of this issue I have read. Yes, the Mail went too far this time, but that is not a reason to gag the press.

  • terence patrick hewett

    One can only surmise what the great Kelvin MacKenzie would have done to him.

  • sandywinder

    Luckily for the Daily Mirror there is a different set of standards for the left than for the right. Otherwise it appears they would not have got away with stating that Thatcher fought against Britain even before her body was cold.

  • hereward

    Never mind his father . Baby Milliband hates Britain also . That is why he would not countenance a referendum on the Lisbon treaty and will not promise a ref now he is the big chief of the scabrous liebour party . He wants our country ruled by the Brussels bureaucrats .He also ensured unlimited immigration when in power , which only a Britain hater could want .

  • Fergus Pickering

    I don’t want to kill all socialists, just deport them to North Korea.

  • Treebrain

    The Daily Mail has done a wonderful job holding Ed Miliband, his father Ralph and his grandfather, the traitor Samuel, to close scrutiny.

    Ed loves to use his family for political purposes when it suits, who can remember him telling us he was calling his son Samuel in memory of his grandfather, Samuel?

    What he forgot to mention was that grandfather Samuel was born in Poland but decided to fight with the Red Army against his fellow Poles when the Red Army invaded in the Russian-Polish War of 1920.

    When the Poles won, the traitor fled, and sought refuge in Belgium.

    when WWII broke out he abandoned his wife and daughter and took his sone Adolpe/Ralph to England.

    After the war he returned to Belgium but then betrayed that country by falsely caliming anti-Semitic persecution and tried to gain entry to the UK. British officials investigated and found his testimony to be a pack of lies, only the intervention of Harold Laski finally got him to the UK.

    Is it any wonder that The Daily Mail questions the values and loyalty of the Miliband family?

    • lgrundy

      Well said.

    • Andy

      Exactly. The Daily Mail article was fair comment. Ed Miliband has constantly used his father in political speeches, so it is entirely justified to examine Ralph Miliband and his views. He was a deeply unpleasant piece of the Fascist Left, no friend of Britain nor of democracy or freedom of speech. One notes that he didn’t go and live in Poland, where his parents were from, when it gained the kind of government he advocated.

  • Ian Walker

    Nothing like listening to Alex Massie, Giles Coren and James Forsyth going on about the nepotistic little world of Westminster.

  • Ricky Strong

    “But even if it did, so what? That’s one of the reasons for having a
    free press: so papers can go too far. Better that, certainly, than that
    they don’t go far enough”.

    I think the aforementioned has to be the most important aspect of this whole farce.

  • Linda K.

    They should look into CaMoron, IDS and the other nutters and dig in their closets.

    • blindsticks

      They’re not nutters. They’re just not very fit for purpose.Like so many of the political classes today.Right, Left, or Centre.
      Another juvenile comment sorted then.

      • Linda K.

        you couldnt sort your knicker drawer peasant.

        • Eddie

          Are you on the blob, love? You seem to be having conniptions…

        • bluegold

          ^^reminds me of the two peasants where King Arthur asks “who is your master?”…from Monty Python (Holy Grail)

        • anncalba

          Ha! Well at least your childish comments are worth a laugh I suppose.

        • Thats_news

          Peasant? What a strange insult from someone of the left!

          • Icebow

            I thought that. Perhaps a conflicted countess dropping her guard?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          You do not seem to grasp this exchange of views, difference of opinion, alternative solutions lark do you?

    • anyfool

      Its to be hoped you are childless, God knows the sort of people you will create feeding them on the sour bile that issues from your body.

      • Linda K.

        shut up stupid toerag and yeah you are a fool. Get some ECT idiot

        • anncalba

          Oh nice. “shut up stupid toerag” – wish I was capable of coming up with such clever invective. Grow up!

        • Sanctimony

          A good dose of ECT might also free-up your pin-sized Marxist bird brain, Linda Khrushchev…

        • Jethro Asquith

          So eloquent.

          • Icebow


        • anyfool

          Its doubtful that ECT could straighten out the twisted incubus Bevan that inhabits block of wood you call your head.

      • Icebow

        I knew you were being too charitable!

    • milliboot

      The press had a go at Camerons father not long after he died and we didnt have the nauseating spectacle of David Cameron having a prolonged tantrum. Neither did we have the BBC leading the news with the story pushing 300 dead Africans, 2 dead children and a woman shot outside the White House down the running order. Good to see the BBC are being impartial as usual.

  • dmitri the impostor

    ‘I suggest to a policeman that this constitutes intimidation …’

    Massie broke off the quote just before plod’s considered response, which was,

    ‘”We have to protect people’s right to protest, but it’s a fine line,” he admits.’

    Translation: When Constabulary duty’s to be done, to be done, we consult the list of designated victim categories.

  • Jambo25

    The Mail is also an anti-Scottish, semi-racist rag, which is the reason I don’t read it. On the Miliband question. It’s article on Miliband pere was ill-judged and tasteless. Had Levy stuck to attacking him as a defender of Marxism he would have had a point. Given the record of Marxist or Marx inspired governments, over the last century, Marxists have got away without having to defend their beliefs in ways which, say, self proclaimed Fascists or Nazis would be very quickly forced to. The fawning over the loathsome Eric Hobsbawm on his death being an excellent example.

    As for the comparison with Thatcher. Well, I didn’t party when she died but I had no sympathy with her end of life state. She was a horrid woman: another nasty ideologue, like a mini Hobsbawm, who ruined many people’s lives and didn’t have the imagination or empathy to understand how or why.

    To get back to the Mail: while I dislike it intensely, it is not the job of pols to censor or control the press. Miliband should call of the dogs.

    • MikeF

      Hobsbawm was an apologist for totalitarian mass-murder on a genocidal scale. Margaret Thatcher was in no respect such an individual and there are no grounds for likening her in any way to him.

      • Jambo25

        I notice you left out the word “min” from “mini Hobsbawm” Plus the fact that the comparison to the late, unlamented Eric was related to the fact that both were “ideologues”; not that both were defenders of mass murder. Had I wanted to charge Thatcher with that I would have written that.

        • MikeF

          I notice that you completely miss the point I made which was that Hobsbawm’s moral turpitude means that any comparison at all between him and Margaret Thatcher,a democratic politician who respected the notion of the rule-of-law, is utterly spurious. Even if you had said ‘microscopic’ or ‘infinitesimal’ your comment would still have been as fundamentally misconceived.

          • Jambo25

            And you clearly miss the point that I did not write what you accuse me of writing. What I wrote was, “She was a horrid woman: another nasty ideologue like a mini Hobsbawm,”. You obviously revere the late leaderene. That, however, is your problem: not mine.

            • ッ Kevin Hughes

              It is obvious to anyone with half a brain why you linked the two. Stop digging a hole FFS.

              • Jambo25

                it’s quite simple for you and Mike F then. Produce the bits where I say that Thatcher defended genocide and tyranny.

  • 15peter20

    “Newspapers attend funerals and memorial services all the time. What’s different about this one?”

    Nothing, except for once the victim was in a position to be heard. I appreciate the general stance, but do you *really* see see nothing wrong with despatching a reporter to a memorial service?

    One wouldn’t outlaw it, of course, but anyone commissioning or accepting a commission to do this has probably taken the self-flattering “hardbitten, amoral hack” thing just a little bit too far.

    • milliboot

      No i “really” dont see anything wrong with reporters going to this memorial service, it wasnt a funeral. It was taking place in an NHS Hospital (for some reason ) so a public place. If you cant see Millibands hidden agenda here you must have an IQ in single figures.

  • MikeF

    A nice irony that the left find that word ‘hate’ – a word they have totemised into a voodoo-socialist curseword – used against them. No wonder they are screaming – there is nothing they can stand less than being on the receiving end of one of their own ploys.

    • gelert

      The left use “hate” to mean you are saying something I disagree with. It’s a favourite tactic of the Guardian and BBC.

  • keith

    the daily mail piece was shoddy journalism, but stand up any newspaper that has never published a piece of shoddy journalism. As soon as the BBC teamed up with a Alastair Campbell, ( how many times has he appeared this last week), you know what side you should be on, it has been painful listening to him spout his self righteous rubbish, with those doe eyed BBC interviewer’s falling at the feet of the great man, It was surprising that even Andrew Neil didn’t take him to task for some of his statements.
    The left seem to think they now have the Mail on the run but Dacre has been around long enough to look after himself. Milliband has gone from honest indignation over the slurs on his father to now using it to muzzle free speech, the point being if you don’t like it don’t buy it or read it, on the other hand, if the hacked off campaign get their way, we will only have the choice of government approved stories, what a wonderful world that would be

  • tolpuddle1

    Alex – your whole article is special pleading; but I’m glad you’ve come to see that you’re in the camp of the disreputable, twisted, tendentious and malignant.

    Even though the Mail’s determined attempt to smear Ed Milliband as a Communist has failed – and backfired.

    • Holly

      Ed Miliband does not need the Mail to smear or portray him as an ‘ist’,
      Miliband has been determined to do this on various TV appearances/party
      conferences, all by himself.
      The fantastic thing is, Miliband hasn’t quite caught up with the agenda he has set in motion, as it moves away from him.
      This will have disappeared from our news by Monday.
      The reporting on this is 100% different since the Mail’s city editor was interviewed.
      And the Mail will still be printed, just like the Sun on Sunday.

  • Dougie Brimson

    Great piece.

    I will never forget nor forgive the abuse thrown at Lady Thatcher in the latter years of her life and especially in the days after her passing the bulk of which came from the same kind of people who are currently wailing in defence of Milliband.

    I’m all for free speech, but it cuts both ways and it would be handy if someone pointed that out to those who really should know it already. However, we live in a society where people suppress reasoned debate or even response through the tactic of screaming, shouting and intimidating.

    And by people, I generally mean the left. Ironic….

    • Linda K.

      Typical, all for free speech then the but.

      • Dougie Brimson

        Your comment kind of proves my point. Thanks.

    • milliboot

      Who can forget the picture of Milliband with his arm around the shoulders of a moron in a “Maggie is dead” T shirt ? grinning his head off. So his respect for dead parents seems a bit shallow to me.I wonder if he has apologised to Carol and Mark Thatcher ?

      • Dougie Brimson

        Exactly. It was sickening to see but double standards are the norm for Labour these days.

      • Tim Reed

        That charming item was sold at Labour party conference, too!
        Reminding us who the real nasty party is.

      • john p reid

        He didn’t have his arm around him,he was photographed next to him, and the bloke had his coat over half the t shirt, how do you know Ed even read the T shirt, are all politicians supposed to read every t shirt, before they are photographed with someone,

        • chrishaines47

          John you nutter, Ciaran Goggins is blogging again.

    • Daidragon

      Some of the celebration of Thatcher’s demise was unpleasant but she was a politician and the Tories foisting a quasi state funeral onto an unwilling country was bound to fan those flames. Her dodging of second world war service also calls her patriotism into question.

    • willshome

      The “abuse thrown at Lady Thatcher in the latter years of her life” was fair and just recompense for the abuse she heaped on so many in her active years. And not mere words in her case. Because she spoke, old ladies died, families were broken, children’s futures were stunted. A society that did actually exist, one for another, and the industries that sustained it, were swept away in the pursuit of short-term profits for the few, credit-fuelled “prosperity” for the most, and the bum’s rush for the most vulnerable of all. Shame on her. Shame on her living and shame on her dead.

      • Wessex Man

        It had nothing to do with the Winter of Discontent then, nothing to do with Union Leaders trooping into Downing Street and telling Labour Government what their policies would be then or if you wanted a telephone in your house you had to wait month’s or bribe someone, or Red Robbo wrecking the Car Industry or Scargill doing the same to the Mining Industry, or Ted Heath’s three day weeks,. or , or ,or!

        I bet you weren’t even born through our glory years of the 60s and 70s!

        • Linda K.

          I WAS born pre her car crash of a reign so therefore well qualified to tell you that you are talking utter bullshit and if you think that is a true memory of her you are suffering from Dementia.

  • Manfrom

    Couldn’t agree more with the article. Yes, the Mail went too far in this instance. But the whole point about the freedom of the press is that it should be free to print things which are wholly disagreeable.

    The hysterical treatment of the “right wing press” as the great corruption of British values and morals is idiotic – the Mail reflects the views of the vast amount of solidly conservative (little c) readers – whether they vote for Labour, or the Tories. Remember, plenty of Labour voters are small c conservatives with very traditional values.

    One wonders how long William Hone would have survived against the Leveson/Hacked Off onslaught.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    So then, here we have another lefty setting up a false moral equivalency.

    How unexpected.

    There is no equivalency here, laddie, moral or otherwise. There is one set of rules for the Left, and one for everybody else, and it is the Left that seeks to enforce that unbalanced regime.

    • Shoe On Head

      really nothing to really see here. same old snoozefest

      if there is anything to highlight it is the faux-confected outrage engine from establishment journos (churnalists) from both sides of the aisle.

  • lindaoutofafrica46

    Great article and a little bit of sense being written at last. Alastair Campbell’s constant rant has been exceptionally hard to take when his ‘methods’ are well known – what a pratt he is! The BBC have been biased beyond belief, but of course we expect this of them. A free press must not be muzzled by the uber-left wing movement in this country. I will carry on reading the news, in general, or published by the Daily Mail. Surely the timing is not a coincidence re: Levenson etc coming up next week. Ed Miliband should just put his muzzle on and shut up. Too much already!!

  • Spammo Twatbury

    Alex, I assume you DO understand the difference between the two propositions “David Cameron” and “Ed Miliband’s dad”?

  • allymax bruce

    Massie, your article attempts to justify the degenerate MSM slurry that has become the Zionist Fifth column. You, just like all your journo trade, talk trash for a living! The whole Main-Stream Media industry, Hollywood, tv news, magazines, both tactile newspapers & internet newspapers, and tv political coverage, all are nothing but degenerating trash propaganda for the war machine.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …don’t be circumspect. Tell us what you really think.

      • Trofim

        I don’t believe deranged lefties understand irony.

        • Linda K.


          • Richard Williams

            Did something terrible happen in your life that you are unable to utter a decent word? Time for your medicine.

          • Jethro Asquith

            Yes, you certainly do appear to be.

    • Linda K.

      HERE HERE!!!

      • doctorseraphicus

        Normally, the phrase is “hear! hear!” implying “listen to this” rather than “me too! over here!”

        • Icebow

          Here we would seem to have a specimen Leftie, worthy of being stuffed and mounted in a nice glass case. Idioticus unembarrassablus.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Is she Scottish?That would explain it.

      • DaveAtherton20

        Calm down dear if you wish other people to be enthused the phrase is “hear, hear.” I appreciate Labour’s dumbing down of education, but you can take it too far love.

    • gelert

      Here we go with the Jews control the media, and everything else too, garbage.

  • warmingmyth

    Ed Miliband is quite entitled to his privacy in terms of expressing the opinion that his father was a nice man and that he had a good relationship with him. However in terms of where his views do or do not align with his father’s very publicly expressed and well known Marxist Ideology there can be no question but that the overwhelming public interest must come first. He is a public figure and so was his father.
    Indeed the Mail could have gone further and explored the fact that his grandfather was a Bolshevik and asked the question about the extent that Ralf Milliband’s wartime service in the Royal Navy was motivated by loyalty to the UK rather than loyalty to the USSR which was an ally against Germany in the Second World War.

    • skynine

      Or just National Service?

  • eoanthropus

    Funnily enough that’s exactly what I say about anything with which I disagree!

  • FrenchNewsonlin

    “But it is also clear that there is a significant chunk of leftist opinion that would like to prevent this sort of thing ever happening again. That is, there are plenty of people who think the proper response to articles with which they disagree is to legislate or regulate them out of existence. That seems much more troubling than anything the Mail has done recently.”
    Insidious indeed. Miliband is displaying his cynical, manipulative and totalitarian self. Time to join the free speech fundamentalists and stop Leveson Stage II.

    • frank100

      Well, the tories really are proposing via the gagging law to prevent legitimate democratic campaigns by charites and 38 Degrees within 12 months of an election while leaving the press free to argue their case for them and allowing private well heeled company lobyists and financiers to have direct access to them

  • dalai guevara

    I am all for a balanced landscape.
    The Guardian had their Snowden rent boy totalitarian security advert to up their circulation, now it’s the Mail’s turn. Fair deuce.

    • Shoe On Head


      dacre’s time has come if rothermere can think ahead. it is all unsustainable. dacre’s 100million + son at eton and DM’s anti-establishment tone. readers aren’t stupid. transparency will unravel. like it has been.

      (shoe on head)

  • Nick

    “Though I see nothing wrong with it despatching a reporter to a memorial service for one of Miliband’s uncles. Newspapers attend funerals and memorial services all the time. What’s different about this one?” The difference is this was a PRIVATE memorial service – as has been reported extensively – and therefore the Mail on Sunday was not invited. If you think gatecrashing memorial services to which you don’t have an invite is right, then I seriously question your moral compass.

    • Edward

      Who gets “invited” to a funeral or memorial service. One just turns up and pays ones respects.Generally the more people who attend is a good indication of the regard in which the person was held by their family or community.

    • milliboot

      But in an NHS Hospital, a public space.(why there i have no idea)

  • Will Rees

    I got as far as the bit where you admitted your Dad wrote for the Daily Mail and then decided the article could be dismissed on the grounds of evilness.

    If Rothermere loves Britain so much why does he hold a French passport?

    (p.s. think my mum had a few articles published in the Mail back in the day too)

  • ButcombeMan

    A good piece.

    I feel safer having “disreputable, twisted, tendentious, malignant journalism” about the place than I ever will with some post Levinson restrictions.

    For malignancy indeed, what about the Guardian, dressing up an old fashioned leftist spying operation (Snowden) as “whistle blowing”?

    That has not made us safer, I think Rustbucket is very wrong to conspire with Snowden but I defend his right to do it if he can get away with it..

  • CharlietheChump

    The Left hate a free press, they want a Pravda.
    We all nee to consider what happens to free speech when there are no more newspapers and we are left with BBC online, Mail online and Guardian online.
    Hope Guido can become the Online paper of record?

    • tolpuddle1

      “Online” – because of market forces, you mean ?

    • Linda K.

      puerile and stupid comment.

      • loftytom

        too harsh on yourself, no, hold on, you’re correct.

        • Icebow

          Someone must have been telling the truth about Linda K., for having done nothing right she was arrested one fine morning. Proper job!

          • loftytom

            One might expect that someone who has done nothing right, and thus everything wrong might get their collar felt.

            • Icebow

              Yep, that sort of was the idea of the allusion.

      • David Davis

        Linda K!

        You clearly have too much time on your hands!

        You must be “unemployed”.

        So, who is “funding your strategically-focussed-internet-based-and-interactively-associated-interactions”, then?

        Is it “Big Government”? (You know! You PEOPLE go on all the time about “big oil”, “big food”, “big sugar”, and the like – all the things that you socialists despise about the “masses” and don’t want us to have or enjoy!) YOU all think that they “fund” “stuff”,..

        So who is “funding” you to write socalist nastiness then?

      • CharlietheChump

        Comrade, continue to bathe in your sterile, false, socialist consciousness

        • Linda K.

          You name yourself accurately, chump, too afris to use your real name?

          • CharlietheChump

            Well happy in my chumpery, Ms K, oh is that YOUR real name???

            • Linda K.

              I see you go out of your way to show the world you are an idiot as well as a chump

  • toco10

    Red Ed says little when it comes to the feelings of Mark and Carol Thatcher when members of the Labour Party scream obscenities at their mother’s memory.He has also said little of note about his erstwhile and disgraced colleague Damian McBride when both were reporting directly to the dysfunctional Gordon Brown.He may not have been aware of McBride’s disgusting behaviour but he could certainly have been more vocal in his condemnation of his intrusive tactics.

    • mightymark

      “Red Ed says little when it comes to the feelings of Mark and Carol Thatcher when members of the Labour Party scream obscenities at their mother’s memory.”

      Contemptible behaviour indeed, as I thought at the time, but have you any evidence that people who so “scream[ed] obscenities”were Labour Party members?

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Can you imagine the reaction of those ‘Labour Party members’ had somebody stood outside of their conference wearing a ‘Kill Labour Scum’ shirt. I suspect that most of the population would by now have drowned in the tsunami of sanctimonious, self-righteous indignation that would have erupted from the left. I suspect that the head of David Cameron would also have been ‘photo-shopped’ onto the body of the offending wearer by an eager Labour appartchik.

        • JunkkMale

          “I suggest to a policeman that this constitutes intimidation, especially the bloke in the “Kill Tory scum” T-shirt who is filming people as they enter the secure zone.”

          T-shirt wearers. What are they like? Especially if stood right next to you, grinning. As you grin. But then, it was a different t-shirt, and a different time. One that does not get the BBC handed to you for a week to do what you want with. It’s what makes them unique.

          As to this policeperson… what was his reply? Keen to tackle a hate crime, or more off to address a ill-framed tweet or a piece of meat assaulting a building fixture.

          If he was, it was ironically with the full support of Ms. Theresa May and UAF founder member Cameron. D.

        • mightymark

          So you don’t have any evidence either?

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            I was offering a hypothetical conjecture so no. Then again, look at all the frothing at the mouth from the left in the wake of a trivial article in the Daily Mail.

            • mightymark

              So no evidence that Labour Party members screamed obscenities at Mark and Carol Thatcher?

              I am not sure you have got the “frothing” thing right. Rightly or wrongly they think they have got the Mail on the run over this. This is a “grudge match” and there is of course a lot of history here between the combatants. We’ll just have to wait and see who wins.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Then I sincerly hope it is the Daily Mail that prevails. I do not agree with the stance it has taken in this instance but better a press which is free to be rowdy, irreverent and downright wrong on occasions than a press which can be directed or have its editorial staff removed at the whim of a politician. A free press, however imperfect, remains a bulwark against totalitarian and dictatorial politicians who crave endorsement but fear and loathe criticism.

                • mightymark

                  I wouldn’t disagree with most of that. But if you fear Ed M is the kind of politician who might threaten those things, then the Mail may rather have walked into a trap.

                  Still nothing on the Mark and Carol front?

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          How about, “Kill a Commie for Christ”? Has a certain ring to it.

      • MirthaTidville

        well who else would they be??

        • mightymark

          What an incredibly silly comment.

    • Linda K.

      Old girl Thatcher deserved every bloody thing the was said against her. No one gave a MF about the feelings of the people she destroyed so why should anyone be nice about the git when she died.

      • blindsticks

        Sily little girl. How old are you again did you say?

        • Linda K.

          Old enough to take you on, loony. Your name suits you, blind but you missed stupid off.

          • David Davis

            I can’t quite decipher your grammar here, Linda K.

            • sungeipatani

              I think she is only semi-literate.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                That is too generous an assessment.

              • Linda K.

                says the semi wit.

            • Andy

              She is a Fascist so what do you expect.

              • Richard

                Is she one of those left-wing fascists?

                • Linda K.

                  ERm nope she is not a fascist soz dummy

                • Richard

                  Linda, I was siding with you and poking fun at Andy’s likening of fasicsm with left wing politics, so “soz dummy”, whatever that means, but maybe you read in haste and failed to spot the sarcasm.

                • Linda K.

                  See where you are coming from now Richard so I apologise unreservedly to you. Your comment fell amongst the detritus of the mentally challenged imbeciles so once again, sorry.

              • Linda K.

                and you know how?

            • Linda K.

              well open your eyes duh or get an adult to explain it.

          • Tim Reed

            Edjercation, edukashun, edgercayshon.

            Another New Labour success!

            • Linda K.

              obviously it was washed on you

      • toco10

        You miss the point entirely but given you are one of those Red Ed failed to condemn hardly surprising.Actually I was talking about the feelings of Margaret Thatcher’s children.Get it now!

        • Linda K.

          No I didnt you read it properly and obviously in your disturbed mental state it is Ok to leave the feelings of the Milibands out but poo poo Thatcher’s spawn. Grow up.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Dear me, this lady seems beside herself with rage. What can have brought this on? Don’t speak to her and perhaps she will go away.

          • David Davis

            When people say to others on fora: “grow up”, and are angry, it means that they are socialists.

            • Linda K.

              when idiots guess at peoples age and employment they are Tory deadheads

          • toco10

            Thank you so very much for making my point that Labour Party followers such as you should have been admonished in no uncertain terms by Red Ed for their disgraceful behaviour towards Margaret Thatcher’s children, Mark and Carol.His failure to do so was most disappointing.

            • frank100

              Again,no proof that Labour Party members took part in the behaviour that toco complains of.

              • toco10

                I suppose you also want proof that Damian McBride was part of Labour’s disgraceful spin machine under the dysfunctional Gordon Brown when Red Ed was also part of Brown’s inner circle!!!

        • terregles2

          The extreme left were disgusting when Thatcher died the extreme right were disgusting in the abuse of Miliband’s father.Nastiness in politics is depressing and a sign that there is a paucity of argument and no coherent policy to present to the electorate. British politics are in a very dark and nasty place at the moment. Reasonable debate is long gone. Who would ever have believed that those who have died are fair game for abuse even though the abuse will hurt their families so deeply. Do any of these intellectual pygmies ever consider how they would feel if their dead parent was held up for mockery and insults.
          Massie says that the press should go too far. Many would agree with that if the press went too far in trying to uncover lies and corruption. Going too far in destroying reputations is something that any untalented third rate bullying journalist can do. Going too far in attacking people who are dead is despicable. Good journalism is dying it has been replaced with sneering and bullying.
          How did Britain sink so low.?
          Incredible that the DM had anything to say about any attitudes from the era of Ralph Miliband when we look at that paper’s unsavoury headlines regarding the Blackshirts.

        • Linda K.

          where is your answer to MightyMark?

      • milliboot

        Linda you really are an unpleasant person, but you know that already.

        • Linda K.

          Correct but I am an honest one.

      • gelert

        Linda K uses Bevan, another hypocritical champagne socialist who made himself rich pretending to care about the poor, as her avatar.

        The same Bevan who called Tories “vermin” many years ago. Of course that kind of slur is acceptable to the left and ignores the fact that many “working-class” people have, and still do, vote Conservative.

        • Linda K.

          and the same Bevan was right Tories ARE vermin.

          • gelert

            Bevan was certainly eager to take the Beaverbrook shilling and enjoy his hospitality frequently, just like his war-dodging crony and KGB dupe, Michael Foot.

            Bevan was a wealthy man, thanks to keeping his snout in the public and private trough.

      • David Davis

        I can predict, without knowing you, that you are very young. You must be under aged 40.

        Can we take it, then, that you are a socialist, which is to say: a fascist?

        Do you actually know what the “fasces”, in Latin, actually is, and what it means?

        Don’t you think you ought to check this sort of stuff out?

        You, and I, and everybody reading this all know, in our hearts, that what I say about the intellectual-equivalence of these two seemingly opposite words – seem as opposites because the fascists and socialists own the MSM, in which you probably work, is the truth.

        Hating Thatcher, as you clearly do, marks you out as a product of the “Modern (post-modern? Hahahaha) British University system”.

        Do you think that you ought to do a little “reading up the night before”, before writing stuff?

        • Linda K.

          ps dont gamble your prediction skills are as accurately as your person skills, none.

      • Thats_news

        Linda K, I lost a very good, well-paid career in the 1970s at the height of the Wilson/Callaghan/Healey financial mess. I now, with maturity and hindsight, realise that Thatcher was just hosing down the conflagration of British industry caused by the above three politicians.

        • mightymark

          You can work this any which way. Many lost jobs under Heath, Thatcher and Major. All British governments have their upswings when unemployment falls and down swings in which people lose jobs. The extremists on both sides promise us that of only we adopt their systems with total exactitude all will be well. Sensible people know it isn’t like that. Beyond that are the relatively narrow though still democratically valid and useful differences between the main political parties. I choose one and you presumably choose the other, but your experience (awful as it no doubt was) doesn’t really demonstrate anything one way or the other unless you can prove that it could not conceivably have happened under a Conservative government which, I imagine you could not.

        • Linda K.

          So Thatcher kissed it all better for you?

          • Thats_news

            But the Thatcher government did not take my then career away from me. That was down to an Oxford Don, and a millionaire farmer.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        We can but imagine what your reaction would be however if upon the passing of say, Gordon Brown, the most destructive Prime Minister of modern times (private sector pensions, the economy etc etc), the ‘right’ were to indulge in a comparable orgy of ill-considered and disgusting invective. I predict a flood of leftist sanctimony of ‘Noaich’ proportions.

        • Linda K.

          more lying bollocks but thats Tory for you.

      • Andy

        Typical from the Fascist Left. Scum, scum, scum.

        • Linda K.

          If you say so nutter.

          • Andy

            Fascist Scum. Get lost.

            • Linda K.

              sure idiot I’ll do exactly as you say, not.

              • Andy

                No one needs Fascist scum like you. Cretin.

                • Linda K.

                  and you are no one so toddle along mutant.

      • MirthaTidville

        what a thoroughly nasty piece you are….

        • Linda K.

          Correct, we agree on something at last.

    • mightymark

      Someone raised this thing about Labour Party members screaming abuse at Mark and Carol Thatcher on another thread. Despite having asked for evidence that such abuse was screamed by Labour Party members (I assume you mean card carrying ones), no one has been able to come up with any. Your post now has 158 recommends so I imaging someone will actually come up with some such evidence this time round.

      • mightymark

        Whoops – this thread actually!

      • Linda K.

        They follow each other like blind sheep, so sad, not one can prove they even exist let alone any truths